I’ve written on the J-List blog before about how much I love the promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), but until this week I had absolutely zero idea that they had an official manga starring one of their brightest talents as the hero!
In a press release sent out on Tuesday, September 8th, Yen Press announced that they have acquired the English license to the two-volume manga series, New Japan Academy, and will begin releasing the series digitally starting next month (October 2020)!
Yen Press describes the story as:
It’s the stars of New Japan Pro-Wrestling as you’ve never seen them before! Teenager Tetsuya Naito is aiming for the top of New Japan Academy, but in order to be the champion, he’ll have to face formidable students like “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada and the “Once-in-a-Century Talent” Hiroshi Tanahashi. Luckily for Naito, he has his boys in Los Ingobernables de Japon on his side! No matter the odds, Naito’s motto remains the same: tranquilo.
The manga series originally launched in Da Vinci News magazine in June 2018. It was originally titled HIGHER AND HIGHER! Shinnichi Gakuen Monogatari but that title was changed once they compiled the series into collected volumes. New Japan Academy ran in the magazine until June 2020 and had its final volume released in July of this year.
The first volume of the series will be released in English just in time for fans to learn about the real-life wrestler Tetsuya Naito in a fictionalized world before tuning into the annual real-world G1 Climax round-robin tournament in which Naito is taking part as a current double champion (he holds both the IWGP heavyweight and intercontinental championships)!
This is an interesting pick up for Yen Press. It’s not often that we get pro wrestling manga on this side of the pacific ocean and to get one with a colorful hero like Naito is just icing on the cake as he has always struck me as looking like someone’s weird uncle rather than a fearsome professional wrestler. Regardless, if you’re a fan of professional wrestling, I encourage you to check this series out!
Source: Press Release